You're hot, he's hot, and there's nothing worse than being stuck inside with a sticky baby who wants nothing more than to roll around on some grass. Instead of running that air conditioner on high all season, opt to make this summer the year of outdoor adventures with your littlest friend. Not only is your pint-size love the easiest companion to tote around (it's all the things that come with him that weigh you down), but he's also amazed at every natural wonder he sees. From insects and rainbows to the water hose, fill your days teaching Baby all the magic there is to see outside this summer.
Edible Finger Painting
What's something that's likely in your fridge right now that could keep your baby occupied for hours (and hours)? Yogurt! That's right, your morning go-to staple paired with neon food coloring is your ticket to edible finger painting. Grab your babe and an old white sheet you don't need and set up in your backyard or local park. You can show her how the different colors mix together to create new ones and let her get as messy as she wants—the sheet is there to color on, and for clean-up.
Baby Sensory Ice
When the temperatures are rising, how much do you wish you could dive into a pool of ice cold water? Lucky for your baby, he can! Or at least, his fingers anyway. Find a glass container (it's sturdier than plastic) and fill it with ice water. Grab some wooden spoons and other baby-safe kitchen tools, and sit outside with baby while he discovers his "ohhh that's cold!" sense.
Outdoor Baby Waterbed
When you make this outdoor waterbed (basically a tarp with water added and some food coloring if you're feeling fancy), Baby can spend hours rolling around, poking and squishing at the water, discovering how it moves. It's much easier than it looks to make.
Baby Bucket of Play Rings
Fill up a bucket of water, grab some teething rings or toys you usually use in the bathtub and sit Baby outside to play. She'll be able to dig through, feel the water, splash, dig and rearrange as she—and you!—enjoys the sunshine outside.
Let's be real—since baby came along, you haven't exactly had time to make things from scratch. Put that cornmeal to good use by disguising it as 'fake sand' for your babe. If he eats it, no big deal, so he can have a lot of fun digging, building mini mountains and discovering the texture with his little toes and fingers. Grab a plastic container, dump the cornmeal and then grab yourself some coffee—he'll be busy for a while.
Start a Painting Tradition
Here's a fun idea if this is your first (or even your fifth) summer with your tot: Buy a blank canvas, set up some paints outside, strip 'em down to her diaper and let her play in the paint. It'll get messy for sure, but because she's outside, it's fine. And you really let her creativity explore as she paints with her hands, or maybe a paintbrush if you have a mini Leonardo da Vinci. Every summer, ask her to do it again—and really watch them change and form! Psst: use this paint, which is non-toxic, eco-friendly and fine for babies!
Outdoor Baby Jamfest
He loves banging on those pots and pans inside, but what's better for the summer (and for um, your ears and patience) is setting it up outside. Hang the items from a tree branch or outdoor patio, give him a stick and let him pound out a beat. Just make sure he wraps up the final set before it gets too late—don't want your neighbors calling the baby cops!
Discover the Outdoors
You're so used to making sure she doesn't slip, fall or bruise, that you might keep her from being the little adventurer she really is! Take a walk through your backyard and pick up anything that could be possibly dangerous, lather on his baby sunscreen and let her crawl! She'll discover rocks, grass, and her Indiana Jones spirit.